Our eldest son has just turned 12. I can't believe that! He is supposed to still be my baby! Of course, he gets REAAAALY upset when we try to put diapers on him... in fact... he is starting to get upset about a lot of things. Like, uh, having to wake up in the morning! :-)
Me: Hey, get up. Time to get up.
Son: Mghhahhraaa... ahhhhh... rugggg...uf.
Me: No, I'm serious, its time to get up!
Son: Meh... zzzzzzzzzzz...
Thinking to myself, where did my little boy go?! The one who used to JUMP out of bed the moment I entered his room saying "play play play!". The one who used to wake up and sing and play and build stuff with Lego?
I grab him by the leg... and gently... ever so delicately... drag his sorry sleeping butt out of bed and toss it onto the floor!
Me: Get up! Are you up?!
Son: zzzZZzzz zzzzZzzzzz...
Me: Hmmmm... Hey, Ping, can you wake your brother up?
Ping: Yea! YEA!
Me: Great. I'll be downstairs...
... a few moments pass ...
Son: HEEEEEEYYYYYY!!!!! OW!!!! WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!?!?!?! AAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!
I return upstairs...
Me: Hey, whats going on?!
Son: She dumped water on me!
Me: Ping, did you pour water on your brother?
Me: Good girl!
Son: WHAT?! Good girl?!
Me: Yea, I asked her to wake you up. You had a choice... you COULD have gotten up when I asked.
Son: This sucks.
Me: Well, that was your choice. Which brings me to another point.
Son: Oh no. Do you want to "talk"?
Me: Yes, yes I do. You are getting to that age when you will start to be curious about... things. and... stuff... and such.
Me: And I just wanted you to know... that no matter what your questions are... you can talk to me. 'Cuz things are going to come up, which will temp you. And look, promising and fun and good... but they won't be.
Son: I know.
... awkward silence....
Me: Sooooo, anything you feel we should talk about?
Son: Uhhhh, no?
... awkward silence...
Sometimes as a parent, you just have to bring up the ugly things... even though you don't want to. Thats the joy and responsibility of being a Dad (or Mom).
Me: Then, what is THIS I found on your iPod?!
Son: That? Thats nothing.
Me: What do you mean, nothing?! Do you know how much of my life I wasted on this same thing when I was your age and a little older?!
Son: A lot?
Me: Yes! A LOT! And you know what, it didn't help me. It didn't prepare me for anything. It only created a world full of lies, a reality which I THOUGHT would be true... but in the end, reality was nothing like what you are looking at there!
Son: But, its harmless Dad.
Me: Oh it is SO not harmless! The guys who make this ... stuff ... only want you to think it is harmless. But trust me, it will affect the way you look at life... love... relationships... work... everything.
Son: Daaaaad... c'mon... aren't you over reacting?
Me: I just don't want you to make the same mistakes I did.
Son: Fine. So what, do you want me to delete it?
Me: No, I just want you to keep in mind what I said.
Me: Great. I'm glad we had this talk.
Son: So, should I NOT buy the College Expansion Pack for "The Sims" then?
Me: The College Expansion Pack?! You want to ruin College now too!!! "The Sims"!!! Oh where oh where did I go wrong! *sob* Its not even a REAL game!!!
Ahhh yes... my boy had purchased The Sims on his iPod... oh the horrors! He dosn't know the trap he is walking into. Just another job for me as Dad, to help point him in the way he should go, and help him stay on the straight and narrow... :-)